At the request of South Africa, a special working group of the World Health Organization will examine the new virus tomorrow. Variant B.1.1.529 can also be named with a letter from the Greek alphabet, as is the dominant delta variant now.
South African corona specialist Tulio de Oliveira says the new variant contains many mutations, including more than thirty mutations important for spread. “We see that the virus can spread very quickly. We believe that the health system will come under pressure in the coming days and weeks.”
Time is needed to determine if this variant is responsible for the rapid increase in the number of infections, Cambridge University microbiology professor Ravindra Gupta told the Associated Press news agency. “There’s a good chance,” he said, praising South African scientists for discovering the variant and spreading its presence so quickly.
Only 24 percent of South Africa’s population is fully vaccinated, and the number of vaccinations per day is less than half the government’s 300,000 target.
Measures in Israel and the UK
Israel put South Africa and its neighbors on the “red” list. Anyone who comes from such a country and is not a resident of Israel will not enter Israel. Travelers returning to Israel from those countries must self-quarantine for seven days at a place designated by the country. They are not allowed to leave until they can show negative results from two PCR tests.
The UK is also taking measures. From Friday afternoon, all flights from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and eSwatini will be banned. All travelers entering the UK from these countries must also be isolated by other means.
UK Health Secretary Javid says he is “extremely concerned” about the new alternative, but stresses that more research is needed.
“Lifelong zombie fanatic. Hardcore web practitioner. Thinker. Music expert. Unapologetic pop culture scholar.”